Explain delay in forming street vendor rules: Karnataka HC

The petitioners had moved the court seeking directions to stop illegal encroachments by shop owners, vendors, hotel owners and others.
File photo of a street vendor
File photo of a street vendor

BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court on Monday pulled up the state government, questioning why it had not implemented the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 from the past five years. The High Court asked the Chief Secretary to personally file an affidavit explaining the delay and future action on the issue within 3 weeks.

Additionally, the court also asked for a response from the BBMP Commissioner on what action has been taken by the civic agency against shoplifters who illegally extend their business onto footpaths.

A division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice H T Narendra Prasad issued these directions while hearing a batch of public interest litigation (PIL) petitions filed separately by BS Muneer Ahmed, a social worker from Shivajinagar, Reggie Thomas from Koramangala and three others, as well as the Federation of Bengaluru Street Vendors Associations.

The petitioners had moved the court seeking directions to stop illegal encroachments by shop owners, vendors, hotel owners and others.

From May 1, 2014, the government had not taken steps to implement the Street Vendors Protection Act, as it only drafted rules and also formed a draft scheme. Section 36 of the act made it obligatory for the state to frame rules within one year, which was not done. In the absence of rules, town vending committees cannot be formed and a survey of street vendors cannot be carried out.

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